Thursday, January 26, 2023

Small Changes, BIG IMPACT with Nearpod


Did you tune in to our KIC Start Your Learning on January 18th?

No? Well then... you missed a really AMAZING learning opportunity with our very own Shannon Bryant, Coordinator of Virtual Learning in Keller ISD. Around here she is known for ALL things Nearpod (and Friday cheers, just ask her!πŸ˜‰). During KIC Start Your Learning, she shared ways to utilize this robust tool for a BIG IMPACT with students in the classroom. 

How do you get the training? Glad you asked. πŸ‘ Use the link below or watch the embedded video. 

During this 30 minute training, Shannon brings you 5 different tools within Nearpod for student engagement and interaction in the classroom and beyond. These 5 tools can be used within learning presentations OR as stand-alone activities.

Find the video on our KISD Educational Technology YouTube Channel at

⭐️ Interested in more Nearpod training? Shannon mentions the opportunities below in her video. Take advantage of this learning by signing up today! (Note: click on image to be taken to the PDF.)

KISD Nearpod Learning website

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Storyvoice - LIVE Read-Alouds for K-5th Classrooms

I read about Storyvoice this week and had to share it with my Elementary Peeps! This is a truly resourceful way to bring LIVE read-alouds right to your classroom for πŸ†“!

Storyvoice may be the simplest platform to use that I have ever seen! 

1️⃣. Check the Storyvoice website for upcoming LIVE read-alouds. (Note: LIVE read-alouds are recorded and stored for 24 hours for your convenience. Friday read-alouds are stored through Monday.)

2️⃣. Choose a LIVE read-aloud πŸ“– and mark your calendar πŸ—“ for the date and time. Read-alouds typically last 30 minutes.

3️⃣. Tune in on a laptop πŸ’» or mobile device πŸ“±at the scheduled date and time for the read-aloud and other noted activities! That's it- join one today!

Note: Storyvoice is COPPA compliant.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Winter Break Fun! Virtual Stickerboards 101

Ok, a fellow #EdTechie that I follow shared something FUN this week and I just had to share it with our readers before we all mad dash to the parking lot on Friday for our long winter's break! I am addicted and thought it might be a great 'over the break' activity to share with students that takes very little set up on your part.

🧩 If you LOVE puzzles or crafts, you have probably seen Sticker Poster Kits made by companies such as StickTogether. In my district, I most often see the giant posters in the library to engage students and provide brain breaks.

⭐️ The company StickTogether has VIRTUAL stickerboards for πŸ†“. That's right, you and your students can create and participate in a virtual sticker board synchronously or asynchronously. What fun it could be to see a 'surprise image' come together with your students, either in the classroom or while on winter break. 

Here is one I am working on with another group! I'm so excited to see what it will be.

πŸ₯³ So, OF COURSE, I am sharing a virtual board here with you!! Let's see if we can complete it. I have set the limit to 100 pixels per day as WE build the puzzle. Add all throughout the break and let's see if we can complete it. 

➡️ Find our puzzle here ⬅️

🎨 Creating your OWN is so easy! Follow these steps (or more information here):

1️⃣ Sign up at StickTogether with Virtual Stickerboards Platform with just your EMAIL, no password needed. Next, verify your email.

2️⃣ Choose an image and give it a title, πŸ’‘ but don't give the image away.

3️⃣ Configure your dashboard, set limits per day and get your link! That's it!!

How to create and share a Virtual Stickerboard with StickTogether.

🟩 πŸŸ₯ ⬜️ 🟩 πŸŸ₯ ⬜️ 🟩 πŸŸ₯ ⬜️  Happy Stickerboarding! 🟩 πŸŸ₯ ⬜️ 🟩 πŸŸ₯ ⬜️ 🟩 πŸŸ₯ ⬜️

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Copy Canvas Course: 10-4 Roger That

I have a 10-17 (Urgent Business) for high school instructors who give semester credits for your course! Happy Holidays, at the end of the semester you will get the gift of a new course once the fall course concludes at the end of the semester. 

10-9: Let me repeat my message! It will soon be time to copy your fall Canvas course over to your spring semester course shell created for you! Don’t worry! Your fall course is not going away, it will just be concluded for the fall semester. You will still have access to it, but the students will not.

If that is a 10-4 (affirmative), let’s walk through how to copy your course over to your new course shell. This will include content such as assignments, modules, pages, discussions, etc from your previous course.

In your new spring semester course shell, click on your Settings link in your left course navigation.

On the right of the settings screen, click on Import Course Content link.

Under Import Content, click the drop down menu next to Content Type and select Copy a Canvas Course. When you select "Copy a Canvas Course" more options will open. 

Click in the Search for a course box and type your fall course name. Make sure to check whether you want all content moved to your new course shell or you can specifically select certain content. 

I HIGHLY recommend clicking Adjust events and due dates if you plan on copying any of the content to reuse in the spring semester.

Whatever you import will overwrite/replace any content in the new course.

Once you have all of your ducks in row, click on the blue IMPORT button! You can now continue where you left off in the fall once your spring semester has students enrolled! It could take a while to copy depending on the amount of content.

10-10: transmission complete.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Got time for a quick chat? You DO in Teams!

Two weeks ago, we blogged about using
Microsoft Teams as a virtual meeting platform  - this allows for unlimited time in a virtual meeting. If you are considering the switch from Zoom to Teams for virtual meetings, it may ALSO be a great time to utilize Teams Chat

So....we are following up our first post with information on Teams Chat. In Keller ISD, Microsoft Teams is a product that we currently subscribe to in our district.

Give Teams Chat a try by starting here:

1️⃣. Access TEAMS through either:

  • the Application 
    From Launchpad (Mac Book) or Windows (Surfacebook), search Microsoft Teams and open the application.
  • or KCloud 
    From KCloud, search Office 365 and choose Teams on the left.
2️⃣. In Teams, choose CHAT and NEW CHAT to begin a communication with an individual or group in your organization.

That's it! 🀩 Chatting in Teams is easy to start and great for a team that utilizes a communication tool throughout the work day!

For more help from Microsoft support, click here: Teams Chat. 

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Microsoft Teams + Virtual Meetings = BIG WIN!

So the pandemic hit in 2020 and we all learned Zoom really fast... like crash course in a virtual platform. Zoom is an amazing virtual platform and their company offered free connection for the pandemic and beyond. 

However, Zoom has returned to providing unlimited meeting times for paying customers. Free accounts are limited to 40 minutes. If this fits your needs, great - 😍 - we still love Zoom!

It's possible though that you need longer meeting times and are simply having your participants rejoin the Zoom link over and over. If this is not optimal for your situation, you have a solution in Keller ISD. 

It's Microsoft Teams - 🀩. And you already have an account. This is a service that we pay for in our district; therefore allowing you to have unlimited virtual meetings. 

Curious to give it a try? Here is a Teams / Zoom side-by-side comparison. 

Give TEAMS a try! You are going to ❤️ it!

Teams Meetings How-To

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Chrome Tabs out of control? Rein them in!

So, let's talk about the issue. You have 62 tabs open on your device at any given time in 5-10 different Chrome windows. Yes, tab hoarder, I'm talking to you. 

In fact, before I started writing this blog post, I pointedly closed every extra tab I had open just to make myself feel organized and accomplished. I don't know about you, but I struggle with closing tabs when switching from project to project... I just want to make sure I don't 'lose' anything or that I can 'pick back up' exactly where I left off when I return to that project. 

You NEED  a way to keep tabs on your tabs and Google has one for you! Tab Groups is what you are missing. 

Tab Groups let you 'group' multiple tabs together using name and color customization. These groups can be collapsed to simplify your Chrome window and help you focus on whatever task is at hand. Then when it's time to switch projects, you can simply collapse one group and open a new set keep up the productivity.

Here's how:

1️⃣. Right-click on a tab and choose Add Tab to New Group.

3️⃣. Enter a name for the group (optional) and choose the group color.

4️⃣. Add more tabs to the group by right-clicking and adding.

5️⃣. Expand or collapse a tab group by clicking its name or colored circle.

6️⃣. Reorder tab groups by clicking and holding the name of the group and dragging to the desired spot.

Just like that you have reined in those out of control Chrome tabs! Now focus on one project at a time without worry that your tabs will disappear.

Note: Chrome tabs will not hold on your device if you quit Chrome and shut down your device UNLESS you are using this setting:

➡️ 3 dots on Chrome Window > Settings > On Startup > Continue where you left off